Why outdoor bouldering could be a game changer for you

Unless you are some kind of Gecko person, expect your first few ventures onto real rock to be somewhat humbling. The grade that you climb indoors may well be significantly higher than the grades you succeed on outdoors.

But this isn’t all bad, to succeed you will be forced to learn the subtleties of the rock you are climbing, your movements will have to become much more precise, and you’ll gain confidence in using smaller holds for both hands and feet, often having to trust nothing more than friction. Climbing on slabs or vertical terrain outdoors can give huge improvements to your ability to climb on similar angles indoors. Linking together the moves may be more difficult as the rock is just… rock, it hasn’t been created with the sole purpose of being climbable. Finding the correct sequence may take time, but you’ll no doubt have learnt several route reading lessons that indoor problems often fall short of providing.

Once you’ve made it to the top of the chosen face it’s time for the top out. For a lot of indoor climbers, the mantle is an oft neglected move as we tend to match the top hold and drop back down to the ground, but it’s key to topping out on boulder problems outside. Once mastered, all that is left it to bask in the glory of your successful ascent of the boulder, which no doubt leave you feeling fairly content in comparison to successfully reaching the top of a similarly graded problem indoors. And as an added bonus the route setting team won’t take it down a couple of weeks after your ascent.

To top it off it has been well documented that undertaking regular exercise can improve your attention, memory and your ability to take in and process information. Bouldering has a very high emphasis on problem solving, and dynamic proprioception, which both boost the ability to absorb and retain information.

Whilst these benefits remain the same regardless of being indoors or outdoors, being immersed in nature can add another round of positive effects, helping boost your mood and alleviate the stresses of an urban life. Studies have shown that exposure to the natural world can also reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Depression, Anxiety and ADD.